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Arizona hosts over 82,000 refugees with an average of 4,000 refugees arriving each year. Incoming refugees often lack the knowledge of how to navigate the U.S. health care system and bring with them misconceptions and myths regarding western medicine. These issues, combined with language barriers, low literacy, and cultural differences, often compound fear and distrust of the health care system. The main purpose of the SIRC Office of Refugee Health is to support culturally grounded interventions in partnership with the growing refugee and immigrant communities and local health providers while working to reduce/eliminate health inequalities and cultural barriers.
The Office of Refugee Health is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (award# ASTWH160045), with continued support from the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, School of Social Work, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and Arizona State University.
Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, MD, MSc, FACOG
Director, SIRC Office of Refugee Health